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Legislature approves creation of commission to study school safety tip line

Published: Sunday, Aug. 30 2015 2:06 p.m. MDT

The Utah Legislature passed a bill Thursday that creates a commission to begin the work of creating a school safety tip line. (Shutterstock) The Utah Legislature passed a bill Thursday that creates a commission to begin the work of creating a school safety tip line. (Shutterstock)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that beings the process of creating a school safety tip line was approved by the Legislature on Thursday.

SB232, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, creates the School Safety Tip Line Commission with the ultimate goal of establishing a statewide phone line for students to anonymously report unsafe, violent or criminal activities, or seek the help of a licensed clinical social worker.

The bill previously called for the dialing code 311 to be set aside for use by the phone line, but that language was stripped from the bill out of concern that 311 is already regarded by the public as a non-emergency public safety phone line.

"It doesn’t designate what that number should be, but it sets the wheels in motion to go down that path," said the bill's House sponsor, Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy. "It points us in the right direction toward protecting our youth and giving them an additional resource."

The bill was approved by the House in a 67-2 vote and earlier this week by the Senate in a vote of 23-0. It will now go before the governor for his signature.

— Benjamin Wood

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company